A publication of Bureau of Land Management in California

Issue 407 - 11/4/09

A brownish animal to identify lies in the grass A rider takes a quad on the sand Two Marines carrying weapons proceed warily in a clearing A woman stands on a dry lake bed with her custom auto Close-up photo of Gina Jorgenson, profiled employee


- Imperial Sand Dunes peak season begins
- California Desert Protection Act: 15-year anniversary
- ARRA: Stimulus funds project
- Not for educators only:
      - Wildlife trivia question of the week
- Youth and BLM: Employee profile
- Wild horses and burros: Adoption this weekend
- Recreation on public lands
- Renewable energy
- Headlines and highlights: Award winners, Veterans Day, Marines training, jobs, more
- Selected upcoming events
- Department of the Interior: Clean energy forum
This issue of News.bytes is online at:


A rider takes a quad on the sand"Glamis dunes weekend opens up to small crowd, beautiful weather" (Imperial Valley Press, 10/31/09)
"The BLM normally sees more than 100,000 people" during the Halloween weekend at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. Dunes manager Neil Hamada "said he thinks the economy has definitely had an effect on the number of visitors. Those who came out were a lot of families and those who had been coming out for years, he said."

"First big Imperial Valley dunes weekend opens for fun" (Imperial Valley Press, 11/1/09)
"Fields of recreational vehicles filled the area as people enjoyed the Halloween weekend ... Dunes manager Neil Hamada of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management was happy with how the weekend went, he said. There was a lot of activity for Halloween, he said. The children got to dress up, and everyone had a good time..."

A dune buggy moves across the sand, as many more range across the background"Merino family has sand in the blood" (Yuma Sun, 10/30/09)
"Halloween weekend is the traditional start of the duning season at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. The Bureau of Land Management typically expects between 60,000 and 100,000 people at the dunes this weekend." At 74, Steve Merino Sr. of Yuma still looks forward to the season.

"Halloween weekend dunes attendance down" (Yuma Sun, 11/3/09)
"There was about a 45 percent drop in the number of people who played in the Imperial Sand Dunes during this past weekend as compared to other years, and the Bureau of Land Management believes it may be another sign of an ailing economy."


"California Desert Protection Act celebrates 15 Years" (BLM-California news release, 10/30/09)
The National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management today mark the 15th anniversary of a landmark public lands act that set aside entire landscapes of the California Desert for future generations as parks and wilderness areas.

"Tug-of-war over future of public land in Mojave Desert far from over, despite sweeping protections" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/29/09)
"Fifteen years have passed since the historic California Desert Protection Act set aside millions of unspoiled acres as wilderness, elevated Joshua Tree and Death Valley to national park status and created the Mojave National Preserve ... Now, proposals are pending for desert landfills, airports, housing developments, renewable energy projects and water harvesting, pushing a new generation to find ways to balance such pressures with the need for open space."

Circular logo of the American Recovery and Reinvestment ActARRA AND BLM: THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009
The project below was funded with part of approximately $40 million in ARRA funds allocated to BLM-California.

A man in a yellow safety vest and orange shirt operates a paving machine"Bend Ferry Road awaits federal recreation area status" (Redding Record Searchlight, 11/2/09)
"Some $300,000 in federal economic stimulus funds paid for paving a road leading into the increasingly popular Bend recreation area near Red Bluff. Work crews paved two miles of Bend Ferry Road last week, said Kelly Williams, natural area manager for the Bureau of Land Management's Redding office."


A light-brown animal to identify
A white animal with black areas
What is the difference between the two animals shown above?
(a.) One is a rabbit, the other is a hare.
(b.) One is a rabbit that lives in a prairie environment, the other is a rabbit that usually lives in a mountainous environment.
(c.) One is a hare shown during the summer, the other is a hare shown during the winter.
(d.) One is a rabbit that hibernates during the winter, the other is a rabbit that estivates during the summer.
(e.) One bought burrow insurance from a gecko, the other from a caveman. Both feel slightly foolish about it.
------> See answer near the end of this issue of News.bytes.

Department of Interior logoYOUTH AND BLM 
News.bytes features occasional stories on youth who take part in BLM-California programs, or the Department of the Interior's Office of Youth in Natural Resources.

Close-up photo of Gina Jorgenson, profiled employeeEMPLOYEE PROFILE: Gina Jorgenson...
...is an archaeologist with BLM-California's state office, under the Student Career Employment Program. As an undergraduate at UC Davis, she switched her major to archaeology after participating in the Passport In Time program, a volunteer archaeology and historic preservation program where volunteers work with professional archaeologists and historians.


"Burro, mustang adoptions start this weekend" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/2/09)
"More than a dozen wild mustangs and burros rounded up on public lands in the deserts of California and Nevada will be up for adoption this weekend in Redlands. The local offering by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is aimed at increasing adoptions by saving potential owners a trip to the government-run horse and burro corrals in Ridgecrest, said Art DiGrazia, the program manager."

RELATED: "Wild horses and burros available for adoption in Redlands" (BLM-California news release, 10/30/09)
This weekend: Strength, endurance, and spirit are qualities embodied in wild horses and burros that roam America’s rangelands. These living legends are available for adoption in Redlands, Calif. on Nov. 7, through the Bureau of Land Management Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program. The mustangs and burros were gathered from public lands in California and Nevada, have been wormed and vaccinated, and are in excellent health.


Clear Creek hike was a trip back to old and new places" (Redding Record Searchlight, 10/30/09)
"Signs and maps involving the BLM and the Cloverdale Area of the Horsetown-Clear Creek Preserve portion of the Clear Creek Greenway all add up to a mouthful for old-timers who once thought of it simply as 'down along Clear Creek' ... Today, the sights and sounds are every bit as wonderful as they once were but now are more readily accessible and provide handy amenities ... And who knew the northern edge of the loop would provide such a stunning view of Clear Creek's incredibly deep and awesome gorge?"

A woman stands on a dry lake bed with her custom auto"Doctor feels the need for speed" (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 11/2/09)
Jeannie Pflum, an obstetrics and gynecology doctor from Santa Rosa, is "the second woman to be clocked at over 300 mph in a car, but the only woman to reach that speed in a car and also set a speed record on a motorcycle. Last week, Pflum established a new record by donning an armor-plated leather suit, hunkering down behind the handlebar of a 1,000cc motorcycle in the desert near El Mirage and accelerating to 186.4 mph."

RELATED: "El Mirage Dry Lake Off-Highway Vehicle Area" (BLM-California, Barstow Field Office)
Most visitors ride motorcycles or off-highway vehicles. This area is also often used for competitive racing events and commercial filming by permit.


"Salazar hosts White House Clean Energy Economy Forum for renewable energy, job creation, and climate impact and adaptation" (Department of the Interior news release, 11/2/09)
The stakeholders from 39 states across the country representing "a broad-based network of organizations and institutions, including sportsmen and women, business leaders, conservationists, and Indian Country officials ... engaged top Administration and Department officials in a discussion about the need for a comprehensive energy plan that reduces our dependence on foreign oil, creates jobs, and reduces the carbon pollution that causes climate change."

"Stimulus dollars serve as incentive for desert solar projects" (Barstow Desert Dispatch, 10/29/09)
"Out of about 18 solar power projects in various stages of development on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management’s Barstow office, most are striving for a portion of $15 billion in federal stimulus dollars set aside for renewable energy projects. But in order to be eligible for that funding, the projects have to be ready for construction by Dec. 31, 2010."


"BLM announces 2009 Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Award winners" (BLM national news release, 10/28/09)
A new category for 2009 is the Fix A Shaft Today! – or FAST! Award – and this year there are two winners: the California Department of Conservation’s Abandoned Mine Lands Unit and the Nevada Operating Engineers Union Joint Apprenticeship Committee for Northern Nevada. This award Award recognizes active participation in the FAST! Campaign, which is a partnership initiative aimed at eradicating unsafe abandoned mine land features, especially open mine shafts.

RELATED: "Mine reclamation - abandoned mine lands" (State of California Department of Conservation, AML Unit)
"The Abandoned Mine Lands Unit was created in 1997 to prepare a report to the governor and legislature on the 'magnitude and scope' of the abandoned mine lands issue in California."

RELATED: "BLM and partners 'Fix A Shaft Today (FAST)!' Campaign" (BLM national office)
Click the link on the following page, for a three-page brochure (PDF file).

"BLM waives recreation fees for veterans on Veterans Day" (BLM national news release, 11/3/09)
The Bureau of Land Management will waive recreation-related fees for veterans and military personnel, along with their families, on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11.

"S. 1328 and H.R. 689, Shasta-Trinity National Forest Administrative Jurisdiction Transfer" (2009 Congressional testimonies, 10/29/09)
Statement of Robert G Stanton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Program Management for the Department of the Interior, before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests: to transfer the administrative jurisdiction of certain Federal lands in California between the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. (Click the link on the testimonies page, to open this as a PDF file.)

Two Marines carrying weapons proceed warily in a clearing"A training ground as beautiful as the front lines are hellish" (Los Angeles Times, 11/3/09)
"A remote Marine training camp in the picturesque Eastern Sierra provides the best terrain in the U.S. for troops heading to the frigid, windy, mountainous fields of Afghanistan ... On a recent weekend, several hundred Marines were on an overnight march to test their land navigation, communication and outdoor survival skills." Besides the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, "The Marine Corps has expanded training eastward ... into flatlands controlled by the Bureau of Land Management."
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"Current job openings - BLM California" (USAJOBS website)
Current openings include assistant fire engine operator and assistant fuels module leader.

Unless otherwise noted, find more details -- and more events -- online at:

Nov.14 - Invasive vegetation removal and treatment
Cosumnes River Preserve

Nov. 14 - Volunteer event, tamarisk removal
Santa Rosa Wilderness

Nov. 15 - Mushroom hunting hike
King Range National Conservation Area

WILDLIFE TRIVIA answer and related websites
(c.) One is a hare shown during the summer, the other is a hare shown during the winter.

SOURCE: "Snowshoe hare - Lepus americanus" (BLM California wildlife database)
Snowshoe hares are best known for their seasonal molts, which are changes in hair color that allow them to be camouflaged against their background. During the summer months snowshoe hares have brown fur with black-tipped ears. The tail is always white. They begin to change colors in fall,as brown fur slowly changes to white. The changing of fur color is triggered by the length of daylight, shortening in the fall and lengthening in the spring.

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News.bytes published by
Bureau of Land Management
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834
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(916) 978-4600

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